I Love Your Blog

Wow – do I feel loved! The lovely Sandie Hudson (who I met online doing NaNo and then 50ks in 30days) has awarded me an I LOVE YOUR BLOG award!! I’ve seen this award floating various blogs I visit over the last few days and so many of my favourite blogs have already been nominated!  

Still… I thought I’d play along… so here’s my favourite blogs and why!  

1) Julie Cohen – Julie writes for M&B Modern Heat and Little Black Dress, she’s also got kids, so whatever she’s talking about on her blog is generally of high interest to me. She recently wrote about the revisions process (including what happens when an editor gets hold of your mss) – this was very helpful!  

2) Lucy Roberts – Lucy was the winner of the recent M&B Modern Heat Feel The Heat writing contest! Yes – we hate her for that 🙂 but love her and her blog for so many other reasons. It’ll be good to follow along as she travels the next year or so, which I’m sure will bring her much success.  

3) Natalie Anderson – yep, another Modern Heat writer… are we seeing a trend? These gals are great!!(I do love Super too but haven’t found as many blogs for Super authors!) And Natalie is just so inspiring, writing such sassy novels with four little kids!  

4) Bronwyn Jameson – Bron is one of the first category authors I ever read and definitely one of my fave Desire authors. And also such a lovely, encouraging person 🙂

5) Lynn Raye Harris – I’ve only recently stumbled upon Lynn’s blog (about the time she received the call from M&B) but she always has something useful or inspiring to say. As a newly contracted author, she’s definitely worth following!

6)Downunder Desirabelles – I absolutely love downunder Desire books, so when the downunder Desire authors started this blog, I was there! Oh and I won a book there today too… so that’s gotta be good!

Well… what do ya know… haven’t played by the rules entirely cos I haven’t nominated seven (decided to stay away from those blogs I love that have already been nominated elsewhere). I could go on but won’t because I really need to finish reading ‘In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter’ by Bronwyn Jameson. 

Please do forgive me…

Crack open the cyber bubbly!

After four days recovering, I’m here to announce that I finished the first draft of WWMM on Sunday! Think I wrote the most I’ve ever written in one day that day and I’m not satisfied with the ending at all, but at least the first draft is done. I’m now gonna let it sit until I’ve heard from Lucy from M&B re my entry in the Feel The HEat contest or after baby – whatever comes first!

I feel a bit lost since finishing as I’m not starting anything else right now – have ten sleeps to baby (in the counting language of eldest son). So… instead of writing, I’ve been critting the work of CPs and reading loads. 
I read ”One Good Turn” by Kate Atkinson, which was fabulous and finished Karen Robard’s “Obsession”, which I wasn’t really enthralled by at all. BUT I found a gem of a book in my local library and have to squeal about it here! 
Has anyone else read any Dixie Cash? Dixie is the writing name of two sisters and their characters are quirky, OTT and full of fun. There was a thread of romance in this one and a little bit of a mystery. It’s a light-hearted read but I didn’t want to put it down. The title – ”Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes” was what made me pick up the book and I’m glad I did. Now I’m gonna hunt down their backlist (see titles below) – think you’ll agree the titles alone sound fabulous.
*I Gave You My Heart But You Sold It Online
*My Heart May Be Broken But My Hair Still Looks Great
*Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out The Trash
The last title, which is acutally their first book is my favourite!
So… while I wait for baby, I plan on reading loads loads more… and calling it RESEARCH!
BTW for those of you who don’t frequent the iheartpresents site, the winner (yep, the person that piqued me and 148 others at the post) of the M&B Feel The Heat contest has her first chapter up on the site today and it’s WELL WORTH the read! 

Almost there?

If you’ve been watching my word metre, don’t get too excited. I may have just reached 49500 words but I’m about 4000 words off finishing! At least I hope it doesn’t get longer than that!!! 

Will keep you updated!

Top Ten

1) I Have A Bed Made Of Buttermilk Pancakes; Jaclyn Moriarty.

2) Three Wishes; Lianne Moriarty. 
3) The Time Traveller’s Wife; Audrey Niffeneger.
4) Bridget Jones Diary; Helen Fielding.
5) My Best Friend’s Girl; Dorothy Koomson.
6) Bridget Jones’s Diary; Helen Fielding.
7) Carole
 Kind Is An Alien; Yasmin Boland.
8) The Secret History; Donna Tartt.
9) A Long Way Down; Nick Hornby.
10) This Is How It Happened; Jo Barrett.
These  are my top ten Single Title reads (modern ones, not classics, which would be a whole other post) in no particular order – I think. I can’t actually find the list I made a long time ago and know that I’ve recently added number five and number ten so the old numbers five and ten are missing, but scanning my shelves I can’t work out what it was!! 
There are so many good books out there, there’s not enough time to read them all… so I thought I’d offer you guys a few titles that I really, really enjoyed! And would love for you to do the same… what are your Top Ten??
Newsflash – I’m up to 47k words on WWMM and am hoping I’m on the right track!!

HELP – Three Days?

No… I haven’t given myself the totally insane and unrealistic deadline of three days to finish WWMM.

I’ve come to a point in my mss where I want to show how much it’s possible to achieve – i.e. making someone fall madly in love with you – in three days. 
So far I have a lame list. 

In three days you could fly round the world and back again. You could drive across this vast country of Australia. You could lose three kilos on that horrid cabbage soup diet. 

But I think I seriously need help?! Call me picky but I want a more creative list than this. So, if any of you have any mind-boggling things one can achieve/get up to in three days, please comment NOW!!

I’ll love ya forever…

Looking back on 2008…

Okay…so I know I’m a little early but as I’m having a baby four weeks from today, thought I may be a little busy for pondering towards the end of the year. 

At the beginning of 2008, I wrote a list of the things (writing/reading-wise) I wanted to achieve this year. Here tis:

1)      Want to learn more about the craft of writing category romance – focusing heavily on Goal, Motivation and Conflict and enhancing Emotion between characters. To do this, I plan on spending some time doing writing exercises from Kate Walker’s 12-point Guide To Writing Romance and to study more and more about GMC before I start my next draft.  X

2)      Read at least one Classic (you know, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, the like…) per month. I’m an English teacher by trade and I think my reading in these areas is severely lacking. People expect me to know this stuff and I don’t! – this was gonna be a resolution but as I’m not making any others, it’ll do as a goal. X

3)      Write at least two more drafts of category novels. I’ve got the basic seeds of these in my head but will be praying for inspiration to fill in the gaps. $

4)      Polish up my 2007  NaNo novel and send it off to Mills and Boon. X

5)      Enter loads of contests and hopefully final again in some. $

6)      Hopefully attend the 2008 RWA conference in Melbourne! $

The ones with an X next to them, I sadly failed. 

I’m hoping to do the craft book thing better in the early part of 2009 when I may not be writing quite as much due to bringing up baby! I’ve read a few classics this year but they took so long in comparison to other things and let’s face it, with two young boys, time was tight in my world. I’ll try for another few in 2009. The reason I didn’t send off my NaNo novel was that I didn’t get any feedback for it in the IHeart Presents Instant Seduction contest early in the year and figured it wasn’t really what Mod Heat were looking for. Perhaps in 2009, I’ll see if I can revise it for another more suitable line?!

I did however write a one full category length novel (NBLSB) and have almost finished WWMM. I’m hoping this will be done by the end of 2009 – at least the first draft. I also began another category length novel and also one which is probably more ST. These began in June – my diabolical writing month – and were abandoned soon after, but I’ll definately be going back to one of them in 2009.

I entered contests and finalled in two!!! 

And… as you know… I did attend the RWA conference in Melbourne. 

So… did you have goals for 2008 – things you’d like to achieve and have control over – and how’d you go?

Stay tuned for a post about my 2009 goals….

Big Sticks?

Anyone got one they care to wield in my general direction?

I’ve got news, good news… I finalled in The Romance Writers of Australia High Five competition. I think most of you who read my blog already know that this is a contest of the first five pages for category novels – ie. those targetted at Harlequin Mills & Boon. I’m up against some steep competition though! Special wave to Melissa and Nikki!

My wonderful writing buddy Bec has given me a stern talking to, asking ”What more inspiration do I need to get off my butt and actually put my fingers to the keyboard again?” Sleeping kids would be a start 🙂

But she’s right… there’s no excuse to not write when getting published is your DREAM!! So… this morning, I’m trying, I really, really, really am trying and have given myself the goal of 2000 words for the weekend.

500 down… 1500 to go. In the words of a train from Trouble’s (Son 2) favourite picture book – ”I think I can!”